Ireland keep hopes of progressing in T20 World Cup alive with thrilling victory over Scotland

Ireland keep hopes of progressing in T20 World Cup alive with thrilling victory over Scotland

Ireland revived their hopes of qualifying for the Super 12 stage at the T20 World Cup as Curtis Campher and George Dockrell propelled their side to a stunning comeback win over Scotland in Hobart.

Ireland looked set for a second successive defeat as they slipped to 61-4 in 9.3 overs in a chase of 177, only for Campher (72no off 32 balls) and Dockrell (39no off 27) to share an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 119 from 57 balls as their team triumphed by six wickets with an over to spare.

Scotland, who stunned two-time champions West Indies in their opening game on Monday, were on top for much of the match, with Michael Jones (86 off 55 balls) underpinning their total of 176-5 and their bowlers then knocking off Ireland’s top four, including Paul Stirling (8).

But Campher – who also took two wickets on the day – and Dockrell mixed power and innovation during a game-altering partnership at Bellerive Oval, blowing the battle to qualify from Group B wide open.

Both Ireland and Scotland will enter their final games on Friday – Ireland play West Indies and Scotland play Zimbabwe – still in the race, whatever happens in Wednesday’s clash between West Indies and Zimbabwe.

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Scotland’s Michael Jones smashed a six onto the roof in their T20 World Cup match against Ireland

Jones stars before Campher has final say

Jones’ superb innings – the highest by a Scotland player at the T20 World Cup – ultimately came in vain, with Campher going on to nail Ireland’s highest individual score in the event.

Jones tonked four sixes, including one onto the roof at Bellerive Oval, and six fours as his knock, plus contributions from Matthew Cross (28), skipper Richie Berrington (37) and Michael Leask (17no) lifted Scotland to what was then the highest team score of the tournament so far.

Scotland plundered 54 runs from the final five overs, although only six off the final one bowled by Ireland seamer Mark Adair (1-23), who, along with Campher (2-9) starred with the ball.

It was a different story for Barry McCarthy, with the former Durham quick’s wicketless four overs taken for 59 as he was smashed for six fours, three sixes and went at 14.75 runs an over.

Ireland’s first four batters – Stirling, skipper Andrew Balbirnie (14), Lorcan Tucker (20) and Harry Tector (14) – all then fell before the halfway mark as their Super 12 hopes appeared to be slipping away.

Mark Watt, Scotland (Getty Images)
Scotland spinner Mark Watt dismissed Ireland’s Lorcan Tucker for 20

But Campher then followed his impressive outing with the ball by flourishing with the bat, striking seven fours and two sixes and being brilliantly supported by Dockrell, whose knock contained four fours and a solitary six.

Campher drilled three successive fours off Scotland seamer Josh Davey in the final over to clinch Ireland’s victory, letting out an almighty roar after hitting the winning runs through the off-side.

‘Campher played an exceptional knock’

Player of the Match, Curtis Campher: “We had a clear game plan to try and take the game deep. I was lucky it was my day and I’m just happy to help the team. We have gone up the gears in the last 12 months and hopefully we can put the smile on the [fans’ faces] for a bit longer.”

Scotland captain, Richie Berrington: “We knew if we bowled well we should have a good chance and the boys were great getting early wickets, putting pressure on but you have to give credit to Campher and Dockrell, it was a brilliant partnership and an exceptional knock from Curtis. We will learn, reflect and come back strong in the last game.”

Ireland skipper, Andrew Balbirnie: “I can’t remember as an important a partnership as that. To get over the line with a punch thrown was great. We are delighted and hopefully we can take the momentum into Friday. To drag things back and stay in the competition is very important for us.”

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